July 27, 2015
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Finding Inspiration in an Unusual Place: Empty Pharmaceutical Boxes

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Artists are inspired by many things, but Spanish artist Sara Landeta found her inspiration in an unusual place:  empty cardboard pharmaceutical boxes.

Her exhibit, “Medicine as Metaphor” was recently shown in Madrid. The title was a reference to Susan Sontag’s famous writings Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and its Metaphors—writings the artist said helped her find the links between medicine and art.

Her project involved 120 empty boxes of drugs that had been consumed by different patients to overcome various illnesses. The blank side of the flattened boxes were used as a canvas, and illustrated with beautiful, detailed images of birds.

Landeta chose birds, she says, because they are both a symbol of freedom, connecting earth and sky, but also one of the main animals kept in captivity. The patient, she says, is the captive animal—the bird yearning to fly. The medicine represents that freedom for the patient.

Whether or not you see your patients as captive birds, the images Landeta created are quite lovely. Visit her website (in Spanish, but translatable with Google Translate) at www.saralandeta.com to see more.